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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:00 pm 
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I got the update!!!!

Yeah, just bug fixes. But every new set of cards has been proceeded by an iOS update about one week before launch. While the paper set won't release until early October, it was mentioned on one of the Wizards blogs that Magic Duels will be the first release for B4Z (not linking, not looking it up, would take too long), and iOS has a controversial history as first to drop.

A little preview of today's post -

I am going to ramble about B4Z just a little.
I am going to give my top tier of decks from Duels Origins and talk about playing and beating them.
I am going to talk about some decks that I haven't covered much and what I find to be holding them back from being contenders.
I am going to talk about some decks I played this week to good results.
I am going to talk about the Steam meta posts I saw this week and some choices/changes you may wish to make to your decks.

Settle in readers, don't forget to stretch between chapters.

I've been all up ins the spoilers (http://www.magicspoiler.com/battle-for-zendikar/) and I personally think that the power level of the B4Z cards is significantly higher than the overall power of the Origins cards. So much so, that I think no matter what Wizards does to neuter the Duels card pool, we will see a radical metagame shift courtesy of B4Z. After checking out the spoiler, I can easily predict that Allies will become the tribe of choice, and Elves and Thopters will have to get-out-da-way. And then we have the Eldrazi. When you look at the Origins card pool, can have to wonder "where is the beef?". Sure, Green got Gaea's Revenge, but for the most part the creatures that cost six or more are very flawed. So much so, that control decks are using Green because their colors lack any kind of reliable finisher (Last week's Jund list is a good example: viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10304&start=100#p348814).

The Eldrazi are going to change all that. Regardless of what we get, it appears they will be superior GO-OVER-THE-TOP options to anything we have now. Being colorless, you can simply make your control or ramp deck about the best combinations of colors for ramp or removal, and you will have awesome top-end win-cons whether you want to be mono-white, grixis or 5 color. It will be a lot of fun, and it will take a hell-of-a-lot-a testing. I welcome it, cause like I love to say, it's my thing :)

I could write a whole post about B4Z, and I am sure I will once we have the card pool. For the rest of today, I'll focus on the current meta. Since the Duels: Origins only meta could be uprooted at any moment, I think it's as good a time as any to call out our top tier decks. As always, this is subject to opinion, mostly mine, but you sure can spout off in the comments if you agree or disagree. Bring it!

My Top Tier Decks from the Duels Origins only meta in no special order within tier, here for your scrutiny -

Golgari Elves
Golgari Control
Izzet Thopters
Gruul Monsters

More discussion of the decks below:

Shadow Elves - viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10299&start=240#p345528

Elves of one form or another has been a fixture to nobody's surprise. If Wizards makes elves a tribe, and gives them a lord, the people will play them. This year's elf card pool really drove the user in a value-based, midrange direction, and my best version of the deck embraces that with plenty of removal and Elves that give you EtB love. I tried the swarm approach and other intense aggro builds of Elves. I tried Gruul, Jund, Abzan and Selesnya variants. I am confident this is where you want to be as an elf lord.

I watched a video from the guy who writes for TCGPlayer.com this week (https://youtu.be/CFUnNJardEM), and I read his article. He is really high on Reclamation Sage and really really high on EyeBlight Assassin. I am not ready to marry the card, but this week I'll be testing 3x EyeBlight and 3x Reclamation Sage to see if I can find what he is talking about.

If you want to beat Elves, you have to know how to value the Elves on the table and the Elves that are likely in their hand. If you are playing a control deck, obviously all Elves must die, but what you point your removal at and when you do it really matters. Do you cast Reave Soul on turn two to keep Dwynen's Elite from triggering next turn? Or do you save it for a turn 4 Huntmaster or Dwynen? Should you Languish away three elves, two of which are Visionaries, on turn four, or should you hold our for more? The answer is, of course, It Depends. There is a limit to what I can teach you, and one thing I can never teach with my writing is what you should do when dropped into any given situation without experiencing that situation myself. That is why I love watching YouTube Duelers and Pro Magic, because I can experience the game and try to find that correct line of play as it unfolds. I encourage you to work your Magic brain muscles and do the same.

Golgari Control - viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10299&start=260#p345839

I am linking to Lockhammer's list because I believe if we are talking about metagaming, his version is the most likely build you will run into. Most players like the big win conditions. My version is what I call a "tofu" version because there is no beef, but it wins it's games all the same (and I would propose it wins more of them) with it's army of tiny dorks and planeswalker ultimates.

Beating Golgari Control isn't hard for focused decks with a gameplan against it, but it is very hard for new, unfocused decks. Golgari Control has weaknesses, mostly in the creature text box - Haste, Trample, Flying, Unblockable, Deals Damage to Target Player. If you want to beat this deck, you usually have to surrender the value battle and make the battle about life points. Let them have their card advantage and Evo Leap engine, as a great aggro player once said- "If I kill my opponent with a burn spell, and they have seven cards in their hand, I just got a seven-for-one trade!"

For those curious from last week, Lockhammer's build went 8-2, and it is certainly a potent take on the archetype. I didn't play my own Golgari Control list this week at all. You can believe it was because I was terrified and intimidated if you like :)

Izzet Thopters - viewtopic.php?f=38&t=11105#p340598

I am confident that my Thopters list is close to what you want. The removal slots are subject to change depending on what you expect, and since the Steam meta looks very Red (more on this later) I would cut Jace and Willbreaker. But the core is what you need. Thopters, just as 1/1 fliers, are a deceptively good threat in this meta, to the point that I put Foundry of the Consuls in nearly every deck I make now.

Beating Thopters is similar to beating Elves, but your creatures become worse in this matchup unless they fly. Your removal needs to be selective (Chief of the Foundry always needs to die as close to immediately as possible), and you need to find opportunities to beat down. Since you will struggle to block and remove their threats, forcing them to block you is often the best option, so don't rule out being aggressive, regardless of what your list prefers to do. Flying and trample are keywords you need to have in mind to beat this deck. Sweepers like Languish are great, but Thopters can rebuild quickly, so your timing is crucial. Wait too long and you may get burned out, play it too early and one Whirler Rogue replaces their whole board with one card. It's complicated.

Gruul Monsters - viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10296&start=80#p340556

Feel free to take out Abbots and Visionaries and run Gatecreepers and Revenge instead, and I think you have what most of the Gruul players are on. This deck is really good. Week after week it puts up the best record, and yet I so rarely play against it. It gives the appearance of a deck that is just "some big dumb monsters and spells" but it is a deck you have to play well. Few decks have the same reliance on mid-game sequencing that this deck has. What removal you use, what threat you lead with, what threat you follow with, all of these things make a huge difference because your threats themselves have the potential to be huge. Getting in, out and around your opponent for just one hit per monster makes a huge difference.

I'll drop a hint - it is not always right to be perfectly mana efficient. Plenty of times you'll have 5 mana with Rhox Maulers and Kird Chieftan as options, and Kird may be the best way to proceed. Or sometimes you have 7 mana, but it is better to play Incarnate then Gaea's Revenge. It always depends on the scenario, but don't worship mana efficiency, and don't worship card advantage. He who dies with the most toys still dies. A common, COMMON mistake I see out of players, including our community members, is to overreact to negative card advantage. It is like we wake up in a cold sweat at night, heart racing, shouting "I think I got hit by a Jhessian Thief!".


For those of you wondering how these decks did in my games this week, aka the usual stuff I post, I will tell you - I barely played these four decks last week. They have been getting about 15 games per week for about four weeks, and I feel good about them. I took the week to focus on some of the other decks in the format and figure out how to make them good/better and figure out what is holding them back. Let's look at some stuff I played this week -

Jund Control - 9-1 - viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10304&start=100#p348814

I don't think I am understating it when I say I made a bit of a splash last week by getting excited about a Jund control list. Many community members took up the challenge of testing it for themselves, and results were mixed to put it mildly. I played against the deck a few times last week, and I can give a first-hand account that knowing what you are playing against and how to play around it makes a big difference with this deck, and particularly with Ravaging Blaze. I am willing to concede that some of my amazing results could have come from surprise value, which my readers and then testers didn't have. This week I tried a build with 3 Reclamation Sage (a choice lobbied for by many readers), and I kept track of games where the Sage(s) mattered. I lost a game because Sage wasn't a decent removal spell, but I also won two games that could have been much harder, where I killed an Evo Leap around turn 5 and a Tutelage on turn three. Would I have lost those games? Maybe. The tough part was figuring out the right cuts, at first I cut a Ravaging Blaze, Twin Bolt and Reave Soul. The first two where very wrong, as Sage isn't a good substitute for any of these cards in the mana curve. By the end of the week I settled on cutting one Summons and one Cruel Revival. Keeping the curve low is a big deal, and now that Sages are in the games can go longer without fear of being ground out by Leap or Tutelage, so playing one less Summons has been OK as you find one eventually, and I found I was ending plenty of games with Revival sitting in my hand.

Due to the high variance in the community's testing, and the big difference that playing around Ravaging Blaze creates when it is a known quantity, I can't promote this to Tier 1. I have a feeling that Jund may provide the best Eldrazi-based shell, so I am looking forward to Eldrazi Jund in the coming weeks.

Simic Big Tempo - 9-1 - viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10298&p=352639#p352639

This deck was inspired from watching NGA member Hakeem play Simic Tempo all week. I just couldn't get behind the deck because of the speed. I don't, and still can't fathom playing a tempo deck with only 3 real two-drops (Undercity Troll). It inspired me to find the right kind of Simic deck for the format. So if we lack two drops, then perhaps getting under the opponent and playing tempo isn't the right plan. What we have a good amount of are quality five drops and seven drops that can win the game. Maybe instead of casting horrible small creatures and using tempo to win with them, we can use tempo plays like Krasis, Disperse and Harbinger to keep the board relatively stable while we get to our high end creatures, and let those fatties win the game.

Two cards have been really difficult for me to value - Acid-Moss and Calculated Dismissal. I find them both to be very bad and very wrong in other decks, but in this deck they play together very well. Acid-Moss is an extremely high variance card, sometimes it will win you the game and sometimes it will be a waste of mana. Still, in this deck, I think the pros outweigh the cons. It is a very idea draw to go Gatecreeper Vine or Disperse their first play on Turn 2, Calculated Dismissal of their spell on turn 3, Acid-Moss on turn 4, fatty on turn 5 that they are ill-equipped to deal with being low on lands and behind on board.

Whirler Rogue shines in this deck, because being 4 power for 4 mana is already great, having half flying is great, but being able to drop it and make a giant monster unblockable is like having haste as well. Unblockable haste. Nice.

26 lands because missing a land drop in the first four turns is fatal.

What holds this deck back is aggro. I don't like aggro in this format at all, but somebody is still going to play turn one Glory-Seeker, and I don't expect to beat that. The deck's only loss last week was turn one Glory Seeker, turn two Glory Seeker, Glory Seeker. You can concede at that point, I won't judge you.

I think this deck is ideal for praying on midrange and control in the current format, and Acid-Moss gets better the more players "cheat" on lands. Let's be honest, we all do it, math says you need twenty-six or twenty-five, but twenty-four or twenty-three lets you keep some of your fav cards in. It happens, but don't cry when you lose your only black source to tha' Moss.

Sakdos - 10-0 - viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10295&p=352651#p352651

I am always playing some Rakdos deck, and I am not claiming this one is anything special. I finally 10-0'd a week with it, so it's worth bringing up. This is a metagame deck, you should mop the flood with aggro, have fun games with midrange that should be winnable, and you should get thumped by control. What keeps these decks out of tier one is their reliance on the opponent having creatures they can steal. Very straightforward and I won't spend a lot of time on it. I have tried all kinds of Rakdos control, aggro and midrange strategies, and many do OK, but the game clearly wants you to be stealing and sacking things, so if you play Rakdos you should probably play it right. Sakdos can end games very fast if the opponent plays into the strategy, and sometimes their hand forces them to. Rakdos Control can't afford to take too long because Leap decks have the better grindy long-game, and Rakdos Aggro tends to be a step too slow against popular midrange decks like Elves and Gruul Monsters.

Dimir Control - 9-1 - viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10294&p=352657#p352657

In my opinion, what holds Dimir back is that it can't wait too long to win. Evo Leap and Gaea's Revenge, or an eventual flurry of burn, or a bottomless Thopters refill policy courtesy of a Spy Network ensure that Dimir will not win a game that lasts too long. We have good removal and decent card draw, but we need a clock, and we need it to start ticking quickly. I have tried to make Tutelage that clock, giving me what I hoped would be a better pure control deck, but it never worked out. What I have here is a control deck that is really, REALLY close to being midrange. Yes, you want to blunt the early offense and gain some card selection and advantage, but then you don't want to control the board necessarily, you want to get a clock ticking and end the game. Whirler Rogue, Priest and Disciple all do a great job of being that clock. I have tried all the cards, especially Alhammarret and Kothophed, and I opt for Whirler Rogue and Priest because they are each a few turns faster and work great with Disperse and Necro Summons. It is a challenging list to play, and it doesn't feel warm and fuzzy in a traditional control-deck way, but I have found that it wins more than other versions.

Other decks I played this week to less-then-great results -

Red Aggro and Red Aura Aggro - I don't believe Red Aggro should be tier 1. This format has plenty of plays along every step in the mana curve that are better than the red deck after turn one. However, there will always be a good Red Aggro deck lurking in tier 2 with someone ready to equip it if you decide you an play a deck with 30 lands and all the Eldrazi.

Sultai Control - I worked a lot on a few lists of this, and I am not feeling it. I prefer the Jund burn package for removal.

Naya Aggro - I got a fun list from Auunj, and I don't debate it is fun, but I doubt it is good. Last week I said I felt invincible running Gruul Monsters. Well, I feel the opposite running White Aggro, Selesnya Renown, Boros Auras or Naya. I feel creeping dread, just waiting for the opponent to dispatch my awesome creatures with the removal spells I am certain they have.

RW Midrange - I keep this deck around, and it always outperforms my expectations, but I think it is mid-tier at best. Throw some Knights and some burn spells together and you get a good stuff red/white deck, but Evo Leap just makes you look silly and Languish and Tragic Arrogance laugh their butts off.

UW Control - I really want this to work, but it doesn't yet. Red has the removal you want, White's removal is what you are stuck with. Conditional spells like Celestial Flare and Reprisal fail too often, and a lack of decent countermagic makes it worse. I hope we get some great stuff from Eldrazi-land.

Izzet Prowess - I hate this deck, not going to lie. Why would you play this if you have Thopters? Yes, you get better threats to the board a turn faster, but they require an amazing sequence of draws/plays to carry you to victory in my experience. When it all comes together and works you feel like you are playing Aggro-Control, one of the best archetypes ever! But this is Duels, and the card quality isn't great, so all too often you end up playing bad cards. This deck isn't for me.


So that is me spewing on a few decks that I don't find to fit the tier 1 criteria of my own design. Spout off in the comments if you have a deck or archetype you want me to give a similar "why this isn't tier 1" thrashing to! Or better yet, tell us the deck's weaknesses for yourself, the player of the deck usually knows best, but sometimes we make the mistake of not thinking about them enough.

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool."

Richard P. Feynman


Last week a few people made the time and had to courage to share their results with the community from the Steam meta. A thank you to you guys. Here is some copy/pasted data from kid carter -

I added my data to DaRkStAr's to get a better picture of the steam meta and I stand by my earlier assertion that the Steam meta, though diverse, is dominated by decks with red in them. Here's how it came out (out of 116 combined games):

1. Izzet ()- 20 (11 thopters/artifacts)
2. Golgari () - 15 (8 elves)
3. RDW () - 11
4. Rakdos () - 10
5. Grull ()/Boros () - 9
6. Jund () - 8

Over half of our combined opponents played decks with red in them.

-----end copy/paste

Lots of red. That makes perfect sense to me, and here is why -

1 Mana - Fiery Impulse
2 Mana - Twin Bolt
3 Mana - Exquisit Firecraft

No other color can provide the removal on-the-draw against an aggro deck that red can. Even if you are playing aggro, you still get the most efficient spells from red. So what can we do to improve our decks if we expect to play against cheap, efficient burn spells?

One answer is to only play cheap creatures with value payoffs. If you play something with two toughness or less, it better have an Enters The Battlefield benefit or death benefit. One step I would take is to cut Planeswalkers that have to tap to activate. I have taken Jace out of my control decks, I have taken Chandra out of my Aggro decks, I don't play Gideon. Liliana can still be flipped when you play her, and so can Nissa, but you have to be willing to play around removal. This is a big reason I don't think white decks are good right now. Dauntless River Marshall and Knight of the White Orchid are some of the best values available at two mana in terms of power-toughness ratio to cost, but if all they do is eat a Fiery Impulse you'd be better off with an Elvish Visionary.

Another great answer to opponents leaning hard on red removal is to play creatures that are too big to burn. This is why I love Gruul Monsters, and why I am starting to love Simic Big Tempo. Gruul Monsters, in current form, packs 15 creatures that can't be taken down by Fiery Impulse and Twin Bolt. That's some big game.

One might think that playing NO creatures is a solution. I don't like this solution right now because there really isn't any lifegain that is good, and if you don't give a red mage something to shoot at, they will shoot your face. Removal in other colors, even Black, isn't quite efficient enough to prevent all the early damage, and the burn seems to find a way to finish you.

The deck I would play given those numbers above is Sakdos or Gruul, because I don't see nearly as much control as I expected and I like my red matchups with those two decks.

The only outro teaser that matters in my mind right now - will Battle For Zendikar drop by next Friday for iOS???? Tune in next week for more Duels Diaries.

I am now CovertGo Blue on iOS Gamecenter, friend me and challenge me to a Duel if you dare :)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:21 pm 
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"I have a feeling that Jund may provide the best Eldrazi-based shell..."

Possibly, but I'd hesitate until we see what the best mass removal looks like. And I still think that finishers, which are defeated by one of the most common cards in the META (read Evolutionary Leap), aren't very reliable. I'm still on the Chandra's Ingition tip, and I'm pretty sure you should be too. Good news there, Chandra's Ignition is going to have much better targets now.

That said, I'd put my money on gruul for Eldrazi decks. I bet we get some better red removal before launch, and better green ramp. It won't take much to put that deck over the top, IMO. And this is coming from someone who values black removal very highly.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:23 pm 
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idk I'm liking some of the eldrazi cards izzet and dimir are getting


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:28 pm 
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idk I'm liking some of the eldrazi cards izzet and dimir are getting


You could be right : You know what we're missing, but I'd bet is in the set. U something creature or artifact or enchantment (e.g. Permanent) with: colorless spells cost 1 less to cast.

Makes sense with this year's focus on colorless as being important. If they are nice the card itself will also be devoid.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:32 pm 
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well first off you got, worse eldrazi temple but okay card for general mono-brown
Spoiler


and then there is this:

Spoiler


explains my excitment for izzet eldrazi a bit more huh? :)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:38 pm 
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DJ0045 wrote:
idk I'm liking some of the eldrazi cards izzet and dimir are getting


You could be right : You know what we're missing, but I'd bet is in the set. U something creature or artifact or enchantment (e.g. Permanent) with: colorless spells cost 1 less to cast.

Makes sense with this year's focus on colorless as being important. If they are nice the card itself will also be devoid.


Nm, I just noticed that card is already spoiled. /fail Herald of Kozilek

Yeah, so possibly izzet. I'm with you.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:40 pm 
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although with that from beyond card that just got announced maybe gruul and izzet can work together to bring the world the big bad eldrazi ;p R U G B O Y S


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:49 pm 
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White Aggro isn't going to be tier 1 until we get something like God's Willing. The removal it has to play against is too good currently.. which is fine after mono white and Boros wrecked shop all last year.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:00 pm 
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Thanks for the analysis and speculation! I'm hyped for BFZ too, and I enjoy seeing how your weekly articles change the meta as people take up the decks you list. A few quibbles:

Quote:
I can easily predict that Allies will become the tribe of choice, and Elves and Thopters will have to get-out-da-way.


Not so sure myself. Most of the allies we've seen spoiled so far are CMC 4-5, and for an Ally deck to really come together, they need cheap cannon fodder Allies at CMC 1 and 2. With the ally type spread out all over the color pie, the mana base requirements will be a mess if you want to run all Allies, which means Rally Aggro is not viable. Midrange might be, but why bother when you can just ramp into a big ole eldrazi and call it a day rather than cast 5-mana 2/3 dorks that do nothing when you're behind?

And I wouldn't discard Elves. That Tajuru Warcaller seems right at home as a finisher for elves, since that deck really needs a good Overrun effect.

Oh yeah, and about this:

Quote:
every new set of cards has been proceeded by an iOS update about one week before launch


Hate to disappoint, but Xbone and Steam got an update on the same day. So maybe we can hope for a simultaneous release on all platforms this time? Knowing Stainless, probably not, but still... I want to believe.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:14 pm 
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GFTL wrote:
Thanks for the analysis and speculation! I'm hyped for BFZ too, and I enjoy seeing how your weekly articles change the meta as people take up the decks you list. A few quibbles:

Quote:
I can easily predict that Allies will become the tribe of choice, and Elves and Thopters will have to get-out-da-way.


Not so sure myself. Most of the allies we've seen spoiled so far are CMC 4-5, and for an Ally deck to really come together, they need cheap cannon fodder Allies at CMC 1 and 2. With the ally type spread out all over the color pie, the mana base requirements will be a mess if you want to run all Allies, which means Rally Aggro is not viable. Midrange might be, but why bother when you can just ramp into a big ole eldrazi and call it a day rather than cast 5-mana 2/3 dorks that do nothing when you're behind?

And I wouldn't discard Elves. That Tajuru Warcaller seems right at home as a finisher for elves, since that deck really needs a good Overrun effect.

Oh yeah, and about this:

Quote:
every new set of cards has been proceeded by an iOS update about one week before launch


Hate to disappoint, but Xbone and Steam got an update on the same day. So maybe we can hope for a simultaneous release on all platforms this time? Knowing Stainless, probably not, but still... I want to believe.


I wouldn't be disappointed, I'd be thrilled if we all got the game at the same time! It was lonely as hell when it was on iOS only for three weeks!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:20 pm 
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strongest ally color seems to be naya

token producing


big bombs


deck filtering


finishers


gideon belongs in the 1st and last spoiler as well but I was purelly talking about his +1 when I put him there


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:08 pm 
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I would love to eat my words here, but there's no way in hell we get the expansion before the paper release. My current bet for the expansion is the second half of october.

Great read as always.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:55 pm 
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What's with the milquetoast comments ?? I think this might be the best post yet for this year's Magic iteration.

It has an actual tier list fueled by robust data instead of emotion.

The last few paragraphs are an amazing analysis of the meta and the types of major deck building choices that should be on people's minds.

My only question is if sadkos is one of the best responses to the meta, why isn't it considered tier one? Is it because it doesn't do well against non meta decks ? No one is playing creatureless jeskai...


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:06 pm 
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aybe we haven't talked about the tier list cause we're board of orgins most of us are here with our thumbs up our ass waiting for B4Z


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:07 pm 
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Did you guys all buy the cards ? I'm still grinding. Not bored at all


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:11 pm 
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I did buy all of the cards but its more then just that, some of it is that I've gotten so used to building tricolor decks bicolor decks also bore me now (with the exception of TapDancer love that deck) I miss the alara and tarkir lands ;-;


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:13 pm 
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Did you guys all buy the cards ? I'm still grinding. Not bored at all


Better hurry!

Anyway, I'm in the same boat... Bored and ready for round two.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:35 pm 
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What's with the milquetoast comments ?? I think this might be the best post yet for this year's Magic iteration.

It has an actual tier list fueled by robust data instead of emotion.

The last few paragraphs are an amazing analysis of the meta and the types of major deck building choices that should be on people's minds.

My only question is if sadkos is one of the best responses to the meta, why isn't it considered tier one? Is it because it doesn't do well against non meta decks ? No one is playing creatureless jeskai...



Thanks for the love Barney. It is very common for a good metagame deck to not be a tier one contender. Having good matchups with the top decks doesn't mean much if you turn into a pile of junk against the wider field, and I think Sakdos fits that description. It has it's good matchups, but it really falls apart against blue and against enchantments. There is the issue of drawing well, if you draw all the steal and none of the sac, you are left with a sad face. So we have a consistency issue. The deck I ran last week combatted that issue by running all of the steal and even more sacrifice effects, making the chances of having one without the other a statistical anomaly, but I'll straight-up tell you that running 4 Traitorous Instinct and 4 Act of Treason is like having eight cards that are subpar at best and dead at worst against a number of decks.

As far as comments, and that word I had to Google to understand, I will just pretend all my readers got so pumped up from the read that they immediately opened Duels up, built some new decks or made some tweaks to existing ones, and are still out there battling as we speak, and while I love comments I would prefer Dueling any day :)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:39 pm 
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This week on Steam...

Only got about 30 games in this week...played Gruul monsters almost exclusively. List is Covert's except instead of 2X Abbot of Keral Keep I have in 2X Ravaging Blaze (for about 15 of the games).

Overall, went 24-5 for the week. 2 losses were bad land draws (one was all forest, 7 of them and the other was 3 lands total for the whole game), 2 were misplays by me. 1 was a good game, he had removal for everything I had and then, BAM! Gaea's Revenge beating me about the face. Straight butt whipping. 5 of the games were no contest, either by bad mana or bad skill/deck.

I played against:
2 RDW (1 loss)
2 IzzetThopters
1 Boros Enchants
2 Golgari Control (1 loss)
9 Golgari Elves
7 Gruul Monsters (2 losses)
1 Simic
4 Jund (1 loss)
1 WTF? Deck

Things that were absent for the most part this week.
EvoLeap - Not sure if I just got lucky, the people I've faced didn't have the card or just didn't draw it, but I can only recall seeing it played against me once in 29 games. Weird.
IzzetThopters - I couldn't swing a dead cat last week without facing Snitches...Quidditch season must be over?
Rakdos. Haven't seen one of those in about a week now. Might be a good time to dust one off...

Things I've seen an uptick in.
Gruul Monsters - Popularity jumped a bit since the last few weeks. Thanks Covert!
Jund - Rarely saw them before last week, now a bit more common.

Elves are Elves...if they don't make up 1/4 to 1/2 my games I wonder what's going on.

I suspect Simic mid-range and control to make an uptick next week due to Hakeem and Covert both covering them this past week on their YouTube channel/NGA post. Probably do well to prepare for that.

Barney, I'm with you...I'm not bored at all, even if I did buy most of the cards. I'm pushing 7000 gold right now.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:51 pm 
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What's with the milquetoast comments ?? I think this might be the best post yet for this year's Magic iteration.

It has an actual tier list fueled by robust data instead of emotion.

The last few paragraphs are an amazing analysis of the meta and the types of major deck building choices that should be on people's minds.

My only question is if sadkos is one of the best responses to the meta, why isn't it considered tier one? Is it because it doesn't do well against non meta decks ? No one is playing creatureless jeskai...



Thanks for the love Barney. It is very common for a good metagame deck to not be a tier one contender. Having good matchups with the top decks doesn't mean much if you turn into a pile of junk against the wider field, and I think Sakdos fits that description. It has it's good matchups, but it really falls apart against blue and against enchantments. There is the issue of drawing well, if you draw all the steal and none of the sac, you are left with a sad face. So we have a consistency issue. The deck I ran last week combatted that issue by running all of the steal and even more sacrifice effects, making the chances of having one without the other a statistical anomaly, but I'll straight-up tell you that running 4 Traitorous Instinct and 4 Act of Treason is like having eight cards that are subpar at best and dead at worst against a number of decks.

As far as comments, and that word I had to Google to understand, I will just pretend all my readers got so pumped up from the read that they immediately opened Duels up, built some new decks or made some tweaks to existing ones, and are still out there battling as we speak, and while I love comments I would prefer Dueling any day :)


Well, I guess - at least for me - the 'I enjoyed the read' comment was obvious. So I just went straight for the Yo Dude, Jund could be betterer post instead. Great read as usual, I hope you keep it up - forevererererer :-D


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